Thermo Fisher Scientific Test Finds Oil in Oysters, Fish

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Mass., announced that its global Food Safety Response Center in Dreieich, Germany, has developed two new analytical screening methods to detect petroleum contamination in oysters and fish, specifically hydrocarbons and poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), resulting from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists working in the Center used oil samples collected from the Gulf region to develop step-by-step testing procedures that can be quickly implemented by food and environmental laboratories, with the goal of protecting consumers from potentially contaminated seafood found in Gulf waters.

"We created our global Food Safety Response Center to help our laboratory customers around the world quickly mobilize during a food contamination crisis, using our depth of capabilities to develop methods that enable them to respond to potential threats," said Marc N. Casper, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. "The incident in the Gulf is a clear example of the type of threat the Center can address through our leading analytical technologies and applications expertise. Our new methods for detecting petroleum in oysters and fish were designed to significantly reduce analysis time and enable our customers to meet the demand for rapid and reliable testing of seafood from the Gulf for the foreseeable future."

The new methods are detailed in standard operating procedure (SOP) documents available to any government agency, company or laboratory. The methods have been provided to AOAC International and the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN). To download the methods, visit the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Resource Center.

The company will present a Webcast on the detection of petroleum contamination in seafood and the use of the new methods at 11 a.m. EDT on July 27. Edward Overton, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Louisiana State University's School of Coast and Environment will join the discussion. To access the Webcast, visit

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